Letters to the Editor | Monday, February 26, 2024

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Fiji 7s players Solomoni Rauqe (left), Ropate Rere, Viliame Naikausa and Napolioni Bolaca at the Nadi International Airport before they departure for the Vancouver 7s on Tuesday. Picture: REINAL CHAND

Fiji fails again in Vancouver

In the 2024 HSBC Vancouver 7s Cup quarter-final, Fiji fell to NZ 19- 21. Fiji indiscipline reared its ugly head again. The EFL power outage did not help contain our anger. It was aggravating. The time has definitely come for FRU to seriously re-consider national 7s coach Ben Gollings’ employment. He has failed one more time. Just ain’t good enough, in my view. RONNIE CHANG Martintar Nadi

What now?
What’s the plan now FRU? Give Ben Gollings another chance? SANJEET PRASAD MANI Rd, Bulileka, Labasa

It’s natural, but strange

Regarding the unpredictable weather nowadays, I think blame is shifted towards climate change. Strange and unbelievable things are happening when compared to how it was a decade or two ago. Baigan choka Fiji style is a delicious meal where eggplants are roasted on an open fire. Its skin is removed (disposed) and mashed. Chopped onions, chillies, herbs and other ingredients (as per preferences) are then added to the mashed baigan. Last Saturday, I found a baigan in my backyard garden which had the perfect appearance of being delicately roasted on an open fire (picture attached). Can I point towards climate change? We just experienced something called adiabatic heating. It is natural — still in the garden — and not a hoax (Donald Trump famously believes climate change is a hoax). MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Kalekana’s inspiring story

The actions of the villagers of Kalekana settlement in Lami in braving the gloomy weather to pick up rubbish throughout their neighbourhood are worth praising and commending. Littering, which is a nationwide issue, needs to be addressed and a concerted effort is needed from everyone. Organised by the Eco Guardians of Fiji, the clean-up aimed to raise awareness on the importance of keeping the environment clean and to educate individuals on important matters concerning the environment. Children learned about the effects of waste to the marine ecosystem and human health. The Kalekana residents were able to collect aluminium cans, plastic bottles, wrappers, and general debris. Via his editorial, the editor-in-chief penned an informative editorial titled “Kalekana’s inspiring story” (ST 25/02) and gave credit to efforts of the villagers and Eco Guardians of Fiji. Thank you, The Fiji Times, for giving the initiative the much-needed attention, as it would ignite the feeling of civic pride in other residential areas. Indeed Fred Wesley, together, we can transform Fiji. We need commitment to take ownership of our environment. The story of Kalekana is about a call to action for every Fijian. Bravo! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

FNPF not a bank

Fiji National Provident Fund chief operating officer (COO) is absolutely accurate when he stated that the institution is not a bank and does not provide loans (FT 25/02). He further specified that the primary purpose of this organisation was to ensure that its members received a stable income post retirement. Spot-on again chief! If only Pravin Singh had declared a similar standpoint during the COVID pandemic where the previous regime had permitted members to withdraw funds at will for financial sustainability. And the frivolous thing was that the FijiFirst administration had tactlessly labelled this move as “government assistance” when in actuality the members were merely accessing their own savings. I believe such an unfeasible call by the former government led to the funds being grossly misused as a substantial amount of withdrawn cash were hastily spent on luxuries such as booze, cigarettes, grog, rental cars and other non-essential items. Post COVID, the FNPF chief executive officer dropped an abysmal announcement that more than three-quarters of its members had balances of less than $10k as savings. This critical consequence could have been avoided if the FNPF had resolutely prevented itself from being cripplingly utilised as a bank back then. You had only shot yourselves in the foot! Agree Mr COO? NISHANT SINGH Lautoka

Mama Mia show

The Mama Mia musical show ended on a high note at its closure at the Suva Civic Centre on Saturday, February 17. My sister kept remarking throughout the show how she felt like she was watching the Sound of Music all over again and she kept on and on about it all the way home. Hours later, she was still raving about the amazing show and its cast of local talent. My sisters’ reaction was the same for many who went to watch Mama Mia. One thing was certain – Mama Mia sure brought a great deal of excitement and joy and unity to many who shared in the excitement of a show built around all of Abba’s songs. People were smiling, laughing, singing along, clapping, and dancing and I couldn’t help but think – if only our nation could be united in like manner when it came to governance! Kudos to the Mama Mia team! NOLEEN BILLINGS Savusavu

Where are we heading?

We read all these in the dailies:
1. Investigate Winston projects
2. Taskforce probes scammers
3. Sabotage management board meeting
4. Duo on fraud charge
5. School bullies and a student charged on assault
6. Customs to pay a firm $85k in damage in spoiled goods
7. FRA investigation to be referred FICAC
8. Evaluation order for Kumar

These are also read by our younger generations, in particular the school students. What are we exposing them to read and what type of society are we heading to? What’s all these in a small nation, just a dot on the world map! Where are we heading to in terms of society building? What’s next for Fiji Islanders? INDAR DEO BISUN Sakoca Heights, Tamavua, Suva

Forgotten home

Hearing the pledge from Dilkusha Home for assistance of any kind to help those who are sheltered there really touched me. And it really makes me wonder have we ever thought of these children for once when we threw out leftovers after a death, wedding or birthday function? So sad, but that’s a reality. Dilkusha, the forgotten Home of our forgotten children. Isa! PITA SOROAQALI Rakiraki

Fiji’s stand

On one hand Fiji is supporting Israel’s occupation of Palestine and on the other we are calling for the establishment of the Truth and Reconciliation Commission. It doesn’t make sense to me because we are not practicing what we are preaching. SELWA NANDAN Lautoka

Radrodro factor

In politics I believe the desire to be seen saying something may backfire. Shut, listen, learn and move on. DAN URAI Lautoka

Drug money

The question many ordinary citizens are asking is what will happen to the assets of those caught in the drugs business and are currently in prison. Will police investigate more? One of those involved was a big sponsor of a soccer team in the West and I hope the police can check how much sponsorship money was given or was it taken back, making black money white. Juki Fong, an update on this case as I assume you are aware of this situation. GEOFFREY CHAND Lautoka

Minister for Men

Would men be gambling away their Christian duties as heads of their families and begging the missing link that a friend recently lamented on Facebook, Missing femininity in women if we had a Minister for Men? NOLEEN BILLINGS Savusavu

Parking space

I have a very easy solution for parking problem in Lautoka City. Convert Churchill Park into a huge parking area. You can take sports anywhere else, but can’t take the shops, market etc any other place. Problem Solved. AJAY SINGH Natabua, Lautoka 

Show respect

Someone has shown me an interview of a local boxer (carrying a legendary name). I do not doubt his abilities and passion for boxing. However, if you have also watched the interview, you would agree with me that this young man needs to be reminded that it is professional (not unprofessional) boxing. When compared with his opponent’s interview, he is clearly very disrespectful. I understand many things are said between boxers — may be to add chilli powder to the hype — before fight day, but his team should seriously train him to show respect towards his opponents. His interview makes no sense at all. MOHAMMED IMRAZ JANIF Natabua, Lautoka

Is it you Jan

In the early 1970s, during my youthful years in the airline industry i.e. QF; AA; PA & TE (now NZ), I knew of one airport manager in Jan Mohammed. He was a perfect gentleman, respectful, well-spoken and liked. He made numerous friends over the years. I have often wondered, is there any connection between him and off-shore critic in Nissar Mohammed of Sydney, NSW, Australia? Our Australian contributor/critic is very different. Almost a complete opposite in nature. Respectfully, I am trying to find out the connection, if any. In spite of our faults, weaknesses and failures, through several coups — man-made destructive forces — Fiji is a good little, developing island nation. Admittedly, we are not perfect. We do accommodate our off-shore critics readily. Democracy is still alive and well, here. (No visa requirements for Aussies and Kiwis to enter Fiji. I pray for reciprocal travel benefits, some day, in my life-time. It is fitting and proper). Fiji is privileged to lean on our big brothers — Australia and New Zealand — for support on numerous occasions. That’s what bigger brothers should do. That’s truly exemplary. Respect is always earned, Never given, we are told. Belatedly, I pay special thanks to Jan Mohammed for his achievements and legacy in Nadi International Airport. Bahut shukriya Ji. RONNIE CHANG Martintar, Nadi

Cronyism and nepotism

The Opposition Leader is correct when saying that the Coalition Government has been practising “cronyism”, by disregarding proper channels for appointees in key government, public enterprise boards and diplomatic positions. I believe, “cronyism” is a more specific form of favouritism, whereas nepotism is the narrower version. The former refers to partiality to friends and associates, as the latter to members of the family. Both interfere with fairness because they give undue advantage to someone who doesn’t necessarily merit this treatment. In the public sphere, they both undermine the common good and the practice undercuts the transparency that should be part of governmental hiring and contracting processes. And anyone can point to instances, where both are an accepted fact of political life. SAMU SILATOLU Nakasi

Maritime crackdown

I salute the efforts of the Maritime Safety Authority of Fiji (MSAF) for taking the initiative to lobby for a law change that will see vessel owners and captains held criminally liable for any drugs found onboard. I’m adamant this would be a deterrent measure against drugs. With the increase in drug trafficking, it would be great to put the surveillance on the maritime industry and maritime sector. If the boat is being used for transporting drugs, then legal action can be taken. A good move, MSAF! RAJNESH ISHWAR LINGAM Balgovind Rd, Nadawa, Nasinu

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